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Exhibit Engineer/Senior Exhibit Engineer



* We are hiring for either an Exhibit Engineer or Senior Exhibit Engineer depending on experience. Text in italics is specific to the Senior Exhibit Engineer position.

Exhibit Engineers are the primary staff responsible for exhibit design and production. Although exhibit designs will come from many sources and fabrication may be accomplished in coordination with other staff or entities, exhibit engineers ensure the functionality, reliability, safety, efficiency, and cost effectiveness of each exhibit. Exhibit engineering at the Exploratorium emphasizes the design and building of interactive exhibits with complex mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems within design, budget, and schedule to fulfill the needs of the project.

Exhibit engineers are also expected to be knowledgeable of current technologies and professional standards and to have an active role in the maintenance and improvement of existing exhibits, design practices, and documentation standards.  The Senior Exhibit Engineer position differs from the Exhibit Engineer position in its emphasis on self- direction and independent design and production of high-quality exhibits. 


  • Execution:
    • Consistently deliver high-quality exhibit engineering across a number of projects under the direction of project leadership.
    • Create exhibit designs that fit into budget and schedule, meeting regular milestones.
    • Produce complete sets of design documentation including: part and assembly drawings, bills of materials, electronics and wiring schematics, maintenance manual pages and assembly instructions.
    • Provide support to Production Management and project teams as needed in regards to purchasing efforts, including occasional management of subcontractor and vendor relationships.
    • Design and fabricate basic tooling/fixtures for manufacturing.
    • Participate in off-site installations, maintenance trips, and de-installations.
    • Consistently deliver high-quality exhibit engineering across a number of projects with minimum supervision.
    • Facilitate technical aspects of off-site installations, maintenance trips, and de-installations.
    • Provide support as needed to Project Management with regards to off-site logistics and client relations.
  • Solutions/Idea Generation: Regularly implement a wide variety of practical and innovative engineering strategies. Work to find creative ways to bring new and appropriate technologies into our current system.
  • Facilities Work/Institutional Support:
    • Contribute to general museum operations, including shop and/or lab maintenance, exhibit maintenance, material ordering and stocking, and equipment upkeep.
    • Share design and engineering techniques with other Exploratorium staff.
    • Provide technical advice to help production staff order and build exhibits; promote quality, efficiency, and decreasing costs.
    • Maintain current library of exhibit designs by managing design revisions, photographing design details, and organizing design information.
    • Collaborate with design, engineering, and production staff, to find efficient ways to create exhibits.
    • Teach design and engineering techniques to other Exploratorium staff.
  • Flexibility: Adapt to project constraints with proactive solutions. Work comfortably and productively on a range of projects from rough, in-house prototypes to highly-finished, turn-key client projects.
  • Judgment: Make timely exhibit engineering decisions. Show strong creative discernment and good discipline around choice of forms, materials, and processes.
  • Other duties as assigned


  • BA/BS degree or equivalent combination of education and experience, preferably in engineering or design.
  • Basic shop knowledge: wood, metal, and plastic fabrication; prototyping and fabrication of exhibits using appropriate production methods; follow safety standards.
  • Basic experience with Autodesk Inventor essential plus working knowledge of AutoCAD, Wiki-based platforms, MS Word & Excel.
  • Minimum five years’ prior exhibit engineering experience.
  • Two years’ Exploratorium experience preferred.
  • Advanced shop knowledge: wood, metal, and plastic fabrication; prototyping and fabrication of exhibits using appropriate production methods; uphold safety standards.
  • Advanced experience with Autodesk Inventor essential, plus working knowledge of AutoCAD, wiki- based platforms, MS Word & Excel.
  • Demonstrated ability to work on multiple projects and problems simultaneously with minimal supervision.
  • Talent for collaboration and effective teamwork, and demonstrated ability to work with people at all levels of an organization.
  • Ability to effectively communicate ideas and concepts through hand sketching, basic drawing skills preferred.
  • Comfortable taking direction and mentoring from senior shop staff, senior engineers, and project leadership.
  • Ability to adhere to budgets and timelines for individual exhibits and projects, and to proactively communicate expected variances.
  • Sense of value and efficiency as expressed in effectiveness of solutions, use of materials, and personal time management.
  • Interest in science and teaching a plus.
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds short distances. Able to move from place to place; bend, stretch, grasp, reach, kneel and twist.

This position is open until filled


San Francisco
$70,000 to $89,000
Posted on:
November 29, 2021

How to Apply

This is a Fixed-Term (ends 4/30/2023), full-time (37.5 hours per week), non-exempt, union positions that include benefits. Please, no phone calls in regards to this job. To apply, please visit the Exploratorium job page.
The Exploratorium is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity, inclusion and respect.  We welcome and strongly encourage applicants from all backgrounds. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment.